Miami Marlins' team president David Samson had the unenviable task of going on the Dan LeBatard Show on Thursday to defend the teams' fire sale of stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and others. Many Marlins fans are very upset that just one year after opening their new taxpayer-funded ballpark, the team seems to be back to its old ways. Even Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton voiced his displeasure with the trade, tweeting that he was "pissed off".
And so Samson took to the airwaves in defense of the ballclub, arguing that it was the right move to make after a 93-loss season. When LeBatard asked him what he would say to fans who feel betrayed, he replied:
"I think people should feel betrayed by the fact we were losing so much, I would think they wouldn’t want us to stand pat and keep losing. We don’t want to be one of those teams that for 20 years doesn’t win 81 games or doesn’t make the playoffs or doesn’t make the playoffs."
While the fire sale can be defended as a good baseball move, as Samson says, the betrayal many fans feel is due to the belief that the saved money will not find its way back to the team's player payroll. On that point, Samson equivocated:
"I’m not sure what range the payroll will end up at but I know we will have the players in place and hopefully we will do better than last year. That’s what it’s about. We tried the higher payroll and ended up losing more games. So whatever the payroll is, the real important part is having better players."
When LeBatard asked him what he would say to the angry and disillusioned fans, Samson preached a sermon of hope:
"I can tell you that I hope that you believe you were not satisfied last year and the year before in last place you weren’t satisfied and that better days are coming with a team that’s younger and hungrier and has a chance to win more. That’s our goal every year."